Captain F. W. Marston, chief signal officer, under date of May 9, makes mention of the meritorious conduct of Captain W. A. Pigman and First Lieutenant A. B. Jerome. The former was severely wounded late in the action of April 8 while encouraging the troops at a critical moment. He has received favorable mention in the report of the major-general commanding the Nineteenth Army Corps,and has displayed upon all occasions great personal bravery, sound judgment, and cheerful obedience to orders. Lieutenant Jerome was on duty with Admiral Porter during the operations of the navy above Grand Ecore. While the gun-boats were engaging the enemy's guns and cavalry he directed their fire from an exposed post within short range of the enemy's musketry, receiving a slight wound while thus employed. (Appendix C, papers F, N.)*
Casualties: Two officers taken prisoners and 2 wounded, 2 enlisted men killed, 2 died of disease, 6 taken prisoners.
Department of Washington.-The detachment serving in this department was organized during the past summer. The only opportunity afforded it for active operations was during the month of July, when the enemy appeared before Washington. Captain William B. Roe, chief signal officer, directed the operations of his detachment on that occasion with consummate ability. From personal observation I can testify to the important service rendered. This service has also been acknowledged by the major- general commanding.
Captain Roe commends the officers and men of his command for zeal and faithfulness. He calls especial attention to Second Lieutenant Asa T. Abbott, whose station was continually under the enemy's fire, who many times narrowly escaped being struck by the enemy's bullets, and who maintained his position and continued to work his station under fire for nearly two days. (Appendix C, paper C.)+
Casualties: Three enlisted men died of disease.
Military Division of West Mississippi.-Colonel Albert J. Myer was made chief signal officer of this division May 17. He immediately applied of the field trains in the military division, which since their transfer from the corps had not been used. Upon this application the major-general commanding ordered all signal telegraph trains in or near the city of New Orleans, together with suitable material therefor, and accompanied by the officers, men, and animals serving therewith, to be fully equipped and in readiness for instant service therewith, to be fully equipped and in readiness for instant service in the field, to be forwarded without delay to the mouth of Red River, La.
On May 30 the major-general commanding issued a circular requiring deserters, refugees, and other persons coming in at any military post in the Division of West Mississippi, or at any of the posts on the east bank of the Mississippi River, to be carefully examined by a discreet officer, and the information obtained from them to be compared and collated with that derived from scouts and other sources and reported direct to the chief signal officer at the headquarters of the division. When information thus elicited was of immediate interest to any other commander a copy of the report was to be sent direct to that commander. Information thus obtained was to be communicated only to the division, department, or district commanders, except in the case of subordinate commanders especially interested. In all cases it was to be confidential.
*See reports of Roe and Marston, Series I, Vols, XXVI, Part I, p. 293, and XXXIV, Part I, p. 241.
+See Roe's report, Series I, Vol. XXXVII, Part II, p. 563.